Most little kids see an airplane high in the sky and look up in amazement, curiosity, and wonder. When I was little, and up until 2 weeks ago, I looked up and felt nervousness, fear, and anxiety. I was one of those people who was set on never taking a flight. I decided early on that's just the way it was going to be and I was perfectly ok with that. Over the years I've missed weddings, celebrations, family trips... and never regretted it. I'm not sure what the fear was, it could have been the height, the loss of control, leaving my parents. Silly, right? I'm 33, but I've lived my whole life in fear of losing my Dad (He just turned 90) When I think about it now I can't pin just what it was but it was big and something I never thought I would overcome.
In 2012 Anthony and his Family took a trip to Italy, it was his first flight. Until that trip, I think he would have been ok with never traveling by airplane either. But that one trip changed it all. Morgan was only 2, and because I had such a huge fear of flying, we decided it was best for him to go without us. Little did I know this one trip would spark years of convincing, planning, and theoretical future adventures. It seems almost every family gathering after that trip was geared towards taking another trip. After years of fighting and refusing I finally agreed. We are usually in Florida around the end of January for a conference, so Anthony's sister suggested a cruise out of Port Canaveral. Without hesitation, I said okay because I assumed we would be driving there as we had in previous years. The date of the conference conflicted with our nephew's exam schedule, so we needed to change the time of our cruise. Anthony and I agreed to skip the event this year. We still planned to drive, but things worked out to be cheaper if we made a flight group booking and the rest of the family were keen to be with kids for their first flight. I said ok, but in the back of my head, I thought something would change. I won't be going on this flight. After a few months of planning, schedule conflicts indicated that we would be driving, phew crisis averted! We thought it would be easy to exclude ourselves from the travel arrangements, but if you've ever traveled with a large family before then, you know it isn't that easy. Even though I didn't want to, I convinced Anthony to compromise and just fly with everyone else. Statistically, I thought, what are the chances of a whole family dying? And at least I would have someone to help out with the kids If Anthony needed to tend to me. This traveling issue with him and I wasn't going anywhere, and If I didn't at least try, I think it would have negatively affected our marriage. I'm a homebody but he isn't, he wants to explore and experience new cultures and countries. Inevitability one of us would be resentful, this was my chance, and if I didn't take it, I'm not sure I would have tried again.
Weeks before departure I couldn't sleep, I was restless, nervous, kept having bad dreams. I honestly thought I was going to have some health complication preventing this flight from happening. The night before leaving Anthony's Mom fell on ice and fractured her shoulder. A part of me felt guilty because this whole time I was looking for a way to get out of taking this flight. She decided to skip the Thursday flight but intended to travel with her other daughter on Saturday.
There I was at the airport, still thinking this isn't going to happen! Even in my seat, I had to talk myself out of getting up and telling everyone I just couldn't do it! With tears, I sat there and called my Mom. She assured me everything was going to be ok and that she loved me. At that moment I knew it was going to be ok. Anthony held one hand, and Kendall held the other. Before I knew it, we were in the sky, and it wasn't so bad. When I felt nervous, I talked to God and felt comfort and reassurance. The feeling I had walking off that flight was like nothing I've ever felt. It didn't feel real, not until my sister in law came over and hugged me. I was so proud of myself; I can't remember a time when I felt so accomplished.
The flight home was just a smooth as the one there. We've been home for a few days now, and I feel like my life has changed. I feel free, 100% in control of my life and my future. Happy for the adventures that await and so very proud of me!
Trust me, If I can do it, anyone can!
I want to hear all about your experiences in the comments :)
- Megan xo